For atheists with a knowledge of the history of atheism in America, the name Madalyn Murray O’Hair is not unknown. She was the founder of American Atheists and served as their president from 1963 to 1986. She launched American Atheist Magazine. She was also responsible for Murray v. Curlett, eventually merged with Abington School District v. Schempp, which struck down laws requiring Bible readings in public schools.
She was also murdered by a former employee for reasons that had nothing to do with her outspoken nature.
Her story is well known in atheist circles, but less so by the general public. The court decisions she fueled have had repercussions which have lasted decades, but her name — and her end — are largely left out of those important conversations.
Thank you, Netflix, for changing that.
We’ve written about this upcoming movie before and the star power behind it, but watching the trailer has us pumping our fists and hopeful that the film will do her justice. Taking its name from a headline from Time back in 1964, The Most Hated Woman in America appears to be a complex exploration of an imperfect woman who did so much for the atheists in this country and beyond. We look forward to the film’s release. Take a look at the teaser:
(Hemant’s note: This post originally listed the wrong reason why O’Hair was murdered. It’s been fixed. Sorry for the confusion.)